Surface Properties of the Cancer Cell Lines by AFM

M. Tapia-Tapia, C. Lara Cruz, P. Damian-Matsumura, L. González Núñez, E. Ramon Gallegos and N. Batina
UAM-Iztapalapa, MX

Keywords: AFM, force measuments, metastasis


The biomechanics of cancer cells (membrane), has been identified as important factor relating to the adherence and invasion of cancer cells. We report morphological and nanomechanical properties of three cancer cell lines: HeLa (human cervical cancer), MCF-7 (human breast cancer) and MDA-MB-231 (human breast metastatic cancer) probed by the atomic force microscopy (AFM). Mechanical properties like roughness surface (RMS[Rq]), adhesion (FAdh) and attraction (FAtt) forces, between the AFM tip and the cell surface (membrane) were studied in details in order to compare changes between a metastatic and non metastatic cancerogenic cells. We found that Hela and MCF-7 show stronger interaction with tip than MDA-MB-231 cells. Also in the same comparison the attraction force of MDA-MB-231 is twenty-two times lower than two about mentioned. These results suggest decrease of specific cell-surface adhesion proteins in the MDA-MB-231 plasmatic membrane. This observation was supported by RMS[Rq] analysis. Recent biochemical studies, show that tumor and normal cells are 33% more adhesive compared to the metastatic ones. Our findings display a significant difference between metastatic and non metastatic cytomechanical cell characteristics which could be an important parameter in the studie of the metastasis process.